Well, I am not going into too much legality of Ubuntu and Windows, for me it is an experience of freedom, no licensing issue, no hassle of obtaining pirated copies of cracked Windows and Office from grey market or the torrent sites. Till the year 2012 I had both Ubuntu and Windows 7 installed side by side in my laptop. Since 2013, I have switched completely to Ubuntu deleting Windows forever from my laptop. The reason was now I can get all applications in Ubuntu which were earlier exclusive to Windows and was one of the greatest hindrance to bear with the later. So, here I am putting 15 most useful and best application softwares in Ubuntu, which I think I can not live without and made my switch over far more easier. I use many other applications in Ubuntu, but here I am putting only those which are of use for a general computer user.
We do not need any introduction to firefox web browser. It comes bundled with fresh installations of Ubuntu since I have been using it. Works same as Windows versions. I use all the extensions with no worries. Start up speed is far improved than its Windows version. What makes Firefox the unique browser from others is its security, privacy and plugins. It is integrated seemlessly to the Ubuntu and many GTK apps of Ubuntu are installed via Firefox browser only.
It is the only Ubuntu app which I could not find any replacement. There are lots of other audio player available in Ubuntu like Rythmbox, Banshee, Amarok but this audio player is my favourite for its crystal clear sound and clean interface. Supporting lossless formats like FLAC, Audacious is one of the oldest native Ubuntu app and I hardly find any changes in its interface and performance. I think its simplicity is its biggest achievement.
GNOME Tweak Tool:
UNITY Tweak Tool:
7.Play on Linux (automated installation of Windows softwares in Ubuntu)
Installing of Windows software is not impossible, thanks to the WINE windows layer developed to emulate Windows environment inside. Not all softwares are compatible with WINE but majority of Windows softwares like MS Office, Photoshops, Games are installable through Wine. Wine has many versions all of which are not compatible with all Windows Softwares. As a result, it became a hassleful exercise to install Windows softwares where users had to search online for the methods of installing the softwares which were more or less complex for a non-technical person. Play on Linux solves the problem for all non-technical users. You just need to have Play on Linux installed and the binary files of Windows Software on your hard disk or CD. Just run Play on Linux, select the software from its list and it will download the compatible Wine along with all dependencies required for the particular Windows software automatically for you. When it is done downloading the dependencies it will just ask you to locate the binary file and then relax, it will do it all for you. Installing Windows software was never so simple and easy without Play on Linux. And hence, it is a must have for all users who still want to use the Windows softwares and games from their Ubuntu.
8. Fragment Image Viewer (Light sized, fast, clean and high resolution image viewer
I have been using Shotwell for quite sometime when I came across this image viewer while reading a review about it. I installed it and was very much impressed with its clean interface and quick browsing through pictures. It does only what it is meant for-viewing pictures. I experienced the photographs also appeared richer in colour and sharper than other image viewers.
9. QPDF View (Advanced PDF Reader for Ubuntu)
|This yellow highlight is achieved by selecting the text area simultaneously pressing CTRL key|
10. Pidgin Messenger (Chat client supporting Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype)
Well, BlueMan used to be bundled with Ubuntu till few years back and then it is available as extra package to be downloaded. Ofcourse there is a bluetooth manager Ubuntu has replaced Blueman with, but it is not even near to what Blue Man is capable of. Blueman increases the bluetooth capacities of your Ubuntu many folds like connecting your phone as modem using bluetooth, or want to receive calls or answering calls using laptop's bluetooth, you can even play music from your mobile directly on laptop's speakers.
12. Transmission (Clean, Fast and Simple Torrent Client)
Transmission is a simple torrent client and it does only what is is designed for. No irritating advertisements forcing you to upgrade and no compromise on speeds. You can determine the downloading speed, uploading speed, seed ratio and all those tweaks which you could have imagined. And its free! There are several torrent clients now available in Ubuntu which are derived from transmission.
13. Google Chrome Apps(specially for apps and games)
Google Chrome works seemlessly in Ubuntu machines and it supports nearly all Chrome Apps. Best thing there are lots of offline apps and games which you can download from Chrome Apps Store and they integrate with Ubuntu as any other app. This also allows Ubuntu users to play Angry Birds game offline and install applications like Hangouts for video chat with Google users. I think Google Apps greatly increase the capabilities of Ubuntu and it is must have for all Ubuntu machines.
Google Chrome is not available in Ubuntu App Store and you may need to visit Google Chrome website from here and download .deb file and then install using Ubuntu Software Centre. Then you will be required to visit Chrome Apps Store and install Chrome Apps.
14. PDF Master (Modify PDF Files)
This is an all in one PDF modification application. You can edit contents of a PDF file, extract pages, add pages and many more. Although, it used to be listed in Software Centre till a year ago, they removed it from their isting. However, you can still install it by downloading the .deb installer from here
15. Geary Mail (Email client with powerful synchronization and awesome interface)
For long time, Ubuntu users depended on thunderbird and evolution for their emailing needs but both of them had their own limitation and for an Outlook user it only adds up to frustation. However, Geary Mail changes it all. Geary works out of the box when it comes to speed, user interface and the complete synchronization of folders from Gmail, Outlook and other IMAP servers. I just loved it. Geary is originally designed for GNOME users, however it should work in UNITY based Ubuntu systems as well.